Make KC-X a Jobs Engine

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) went on the House floor Tuesday to urge President Obama to buy new KC-X tanker aircraft from both Boeing and Northrop Grumman and not just from one of them. Rogers, in whose state Northrop’s team would build its tankers, called on the President to transfer funds from economic stimulus legislation to the Air Force’s budget, thereby allowing the service to buy 12 tankers from each company annually as opposed to 15 from a single supplier each year. This dual-buy strategy would quickly act as “an economic engine,” providing “a bigger injection” of jobs than would be possible with one supplier. It would also get the new tankers into the fleet “more rapidly,” Rogers said. Some lawmakers have championed the dual buy at various times over the past few years, but Air Force and senior Pentagon officials have consistently opposed it.